Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Advent - making room at the inn

The season of Advent begins this Sunday. It is meant to be a time of reflection; that's why churches are stripped of flowers and other decorations during Advent, so that we can clear the clutter away and think about ourselves and our world. But the reality is that, amidst all the pressure to shop, spend, cook and party,it is often even harder to to find any space to think or to pray than it usually is. Like Bethlehem when Mary and Joseph arrived, there seems to be no room for any new arrivals in our lives. But as they trudged through the streets looking for a bed for the night someone remembered that there was an animal shelter where they could be squeezed in. Someone thought creatively and wondered whether a manger might do as a crib for a very new baby - it might not come Mothercare recommended, it might not be ideal, but it would be safe and warm.
Perhaps we look at our lives with a shrug of resignation, feeling that there is no way we can make them the oases of calm reflection we would like them to be. But God does not give up on us as easily as we give up on him. It may not be much. It may not be perfect. But even five minutes to sit still now and then can be enough - a manger for the Christ Child who comes with hope and love into our lives.
If you'd like some suggestions for keeping Advent - making space for God - there are some ideas here.
There is an online Advent Calendar from the Church of England here, from 3rd December (Advent Sunday)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:31 pm

    The Advent Calendar link looks good and it does not permit looking ahead. You cannot whizz right through Advent, tomorrow's day cannot be opened today.